Alexander's Column

Useful Idiots on the Left

By Mark Alexander · Sep. 24, 2004

“I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents….” –James Madison

Nineteenth-century historian Alexis de Tocqueville once observed, “Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.”

Tocqueville was commenting on liberty and free enterprise, American style, versus socialism as envisioned by emerging protagonists of centralized state governments. And he saw on the horizon a looming threat – a threat that would challenge the freedoms writ in the blood and toil of our nation's Founders.

Less than a century after Tocqueville penned those words, elitist Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt tossed aside much of our nation's Constitution and unleashed an unprecedented assault on Essential Liberty. Though our Constitution's author, James Madison, noted in Federalist Paper No. 45 that “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined [and] will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce,” FDR summarily redefined the role of the central government by way of myriad extra-constitutional decrees, and greatly expanded the central government far beyond the strict limits set by our Constitution. In effect, he substituted a fallacious “living constitution for our authentic Constitution.

He was even so arrogant as to prescribe a ”New Bill of Rights,“ insisting that the original "rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.” FDR insisted the new rights should include “the right to a useful and remunerative job … right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation … right to a decent home … right to adequate medical care … right to protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment … right to a good education.”

To suggest that government must endow these rights is to call for establishing in the United States, the socialist government that we were battling in Germany, and would spend the next 45 years battling in Eastern Europe.

Of course, none of those “rights” would pass constitutional muster, so FDR attempted to enlarge the Supreme Court so he could pack it with judges who would rubber stamp his proposals. When that failed, FDR implemented his programs by executive and legislative diktat, and the legacy of that gross expansion of the central government has proven disastrous.

FDR used the Great Depression as cover to establish a solid foundation for Democratic Socialism in America. But Democratic Socialism, like Nationalist Socialism, is nothing more than Marxist Socialism repackaged. Likewise, it seeks a centrally planned economy directed by a dominant-party state that controls economic production by way of taxation, regulation and income redistribution. The success of Democrat Socialism depends upon supplanting Essential Liberty – the rights “endowed by our Creator” – primarily by refuting such endowment.

Noted Russian dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn, no stranger to the consequences of statism, wrote, “Socialism of any type leads to a total destruction of the human spirit.”

For those timid souls who are offended by the comparison of Democratic Socialism to Marxist and Nationalist Socialism, I commend a basic history course. History reveals that neither Stalin nor Hitler were guilty of exterminating “enemies of the state” until they had ascended to political positions affording consolidation of power in their respective Socialist states.

Regardless of the populist variant of Socialism, the consequences of of all three are tyranny. The terminus of Socialism under any label, is tyranny. As noted by the esteemed classical liberal economist, Friedrich von Hayek, “Many who think themselves infinitely superior to the aberrations of Nazism, and sincerely hate all manifestations, work at the same time for ideals whose realization would lead straight to the abhorred tyranny.”

It is revealing that FDR, in his defense of Democratic Socialism, offered this dubious classist assertion: “Here is my principle: Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay. That is the only American principle.”

If Roosevelt's “American principle” sounds somewhat familiar, then you're likely a student of history (or The Patriot). Not to be confused with the Biblical principle in the Gospel according to Luke, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required…”, which some Leftist do-gooders cite as justification for socialist policies, Roosevelt was essentially paraphrasing the gospel according to Karl Marx, whose maxim declared, “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.”

Some have suggested that Socialism is a Biblical concept, but the Bible places the burden of responsibility for stewardship on the individual, while Marx, FDR and his Leftist successors advocate that the state should enforce redistribution of wealth. In failing to discern this distinction, FDR set the stage for the entrapment of future generations by the welfare state and the incremental shift from self-reliance to dependence upon the state – ultimately the state of tyranny.

English writer, sociologist and historian H.G. Wells, whose last work, The Holy Terror, profiled the psychological development of a modern dictator based on the careers of Stalin, Mussolini and Hitler, said of Roosevelt's reign, “The great trouble with you Americans is that you are still under the influence of that second-rate – shall I say third-rate? – mind, Karl Marx.”

More to the point, Soviet dictator Nikita Khrushchev said of Roosevelt's “New Deal” paradigm shift, “We can't expect the American people to jump from capitalism to communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have communism.”

Like Khrushchev, perennial Socialist Party presidential candidate Norman Thomas wrote: “The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism, but under the name of liberalism, they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program until one day America will be a socialist nation without ever knowing how it happened.”

FDR never embraced self-reliance as the essential ingredient of a free society, nor have his Demo-successors Ted Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Albert Gore, John Kerry and Barack Obama.


Perhaps it's because most leftist protagonists and their benefactors come from tragically broken families (see Pathology of the Left) compounded by the fact that many of them inherited their wealth, their privilege and their political office.

The character of these “inheritance-welfare liberals” – those who were raised dependent on inheritance rather than self-reliance – is all but indistinguishable from the character and values of their constituencies who have been inculcated to depend on state welfare.

Today, eight decades after FDR seeded American socialism, the Soviet Union is but a memory. Former Soviet Block countries are thriving on low taxes and free enterprise. In addition, China and most other states with centralized economies (Cuba notwithstanding) are undergoing a dramatic shift toward free-enterprise – as well as the political challenges that accompany such a shift.

Yet despite the collapse of socialism around the world, wealthy liberals still dominate the Democrat Party and control their Leftmedia propaganda machine. They continue to advocate all manner of dependence upon the state (the poor man's trust fund), but have always been more dedicated to their country clubs than our country.

Western apologists for socialist political and economic agendas are nothing more than “useful idiots” advocating Marxist-Leninist-Maoist collectivism.

The great promise of socialism was to replace the alleged uncertainty of markets with the comforting certainty of a central economic plan. Socialized central planning has failed in every national application.

In 1916, a minister and outspoken advocate for liberty, William J. H. Boetcker, published a pamphlet entitled The Ten Cannots:

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income. You cannot establish security on borrowed money. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they will not do for themselves.

Fact is that government cannot give to anybody what it does not first take from somebody else. And as Thomas Jefferson noted, a government that is big enough to give you anything, is big enough to take it away.

However, now the once great Democrat Party is replete with western apologists for socialist political and economic agendas advocating, essentially, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist collectivism – the antithesis of Boetcker's principles of free enterprise.

Indeed, as avowed socialist George Bernard Shaw smugly declared: “A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.”

Has America learned its lessons, or is our great nation still under the spell of its useful idiots? An American majority must reject the propaganda of the Left and their inheritance-welfare benefactors. American Patriots must restore the integrity of our Constitution as the central authority of the land, and reclaim self-reliance as the central character of our people.

If not, then tyranny will prevail and we will be a slave to the cycle of democracy and bondage:

From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty (Rule of Law); From liberty to abundance; From abundance to complacency; From complacency to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage (rule of men).

The recurring cycle is only made possible by an ignorance of history. The great 18th-century philosopher Edmund Burke observed, “The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.” Indeed, that delusion is dependent on erasing the knowledge of the past, as 20th-century philosopher George Santayana concluded in The Life of Reason: “Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

The only economic philosophy congruent with individual liberty and limited government is free market capitalism. Individuals contribute to this system through personal industry and initiative; government contributes by confining its regulatory activity within constitutional limits and by employing a system of taxation that is uniform (Fair or Flat) and comprehensible for all citizens. Entitlements and welfare schemes destroy not only personal initiative and responsibility, but also liberty and prosperity. Political freedom is inseparable from economic freedom. Thus, when the government stays within its constitutional role, America prospers.


View all comments


vic said:

How much wealth would the people of America have if not for government? There would be no poverty if the government would only stop trying to "help" the poor.

Sunday, January 24, 2010 at 9:46 AM

Adam Cassidy said:

There needs to be a simple 'tax ceiling', that is a rate of overall taxation that cannot be exceeded, and which governments must function within.Add up all the taxes together, and we're paying upwards of 50% !! So with the half of your money left, you have to buy from someone else who has to give half his money away, too? So your dollar is really worth 25 cents!But put a ceiling of 25% on taxes, and then there is incentive to work harder - why not make an extra million, which you know how much you can keep?!?In England, you see personal income taxes as high as 95% !!!!! So you make a million, and end up with 50 grand !! What is the point!?!?!?The promise at the core of Socialism needs to be addressed for the foundational lie that it is : Socialism is NOT a cure for poverty, need, or suffering. These will always be there in our world, and there will always be genuine attempts to alleviate such things without the need for Taxation-as-Industry to make society 'perfect'.Similarly, it is narrow minded to blame any social system for such 'ills'. Overall, Socialist viewpoints are so coddled in the wealth of the very system they seek status within by dismantling it, that they have come to represent a distinctly NON-secular belief system that is so delusional as to actually represent clinical psychosis.Above all else, Socialism is NONSENSE. This is its greatest danger, and why it is so impervious to debate, when faced with the dogmatic mindset it so commonly entrenches in its converts. It is a time sucker, a spiritual and literally physical drain to be faced with someone making more money annually from your taxes to micromanage every aspect of your existence.Not only is it intrusive, the most important thing to realize is IT DOESN'T WORK.IT IS NONSENSE, AND WILL LEAD ONLY TO ABJECT SOCIAL DISASTER.Take it from a Canadian with a window into such

Sunday, February 21, 2010 at 6:41 AM

Leon said:

People wake up! BHO told you what he was. Pay attention on what he says and what he does. Remember what he told Joe the Plumer . Translation I'm a Socialist Distribute the wealth . There 1000's of ignorant people out there . They will sale their soul for a freebies .

Thursday, August 19, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Larry Steppe said:

We,the citizens of this original country, need to vote out the the undesirables in Washington DC and get people in who will represent "us" the government. Too many in there who are for their selfish need of the working person's money. We, the voters need to vote out any judge who makes a decision or ruling that is contrary to the laws and reason that have been in place for years. Communism was outlawed years ago, but I believe they only went underground and have been sleeper cells in our government for some years. If my thinking is wrong, why are they trying to ruin this country of ours?

Saturday, March 5, 2011 at 6:06 PM

ockyWocky in Wheeling WV said:

Almost half of the populace could care less whether the USA sinks or swims. They are happily on the dole and don't have any intention of being noble about their perks and our debt and how to get it under control.Doubt it? Just look at the reaction in Wisconsin.Until some means of minimalizing that segment's influence is brought about, all talk of beating this situation is just that - talk.Things have already gone too far. And there ain't no Messiah in the wings ready to save our bacon.

Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 4:15 PM

Darrell said:

The parasites care nothing about the host that they consume! In Colorado we have, in addition to the human parasites, the pine beetle which feeds on lodgepole pines. They have distroyed 3 million acres of trees, which now feed wild fires. Our watermelon senator Mark Udall lead the fight against private logging companies logging on Federal land to fix the problem. Now wants federal tax dollars to fix it. Mark Udall, or Udull as I call him. is Colorado's leading parasite.Who is John Galt? I am.

Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Hank_G in SC said:

The attitude in Wisconsin toward the increasing debt v/s the ability to sustain a viable form of government is at best pathetic. The lemmings of the so call "Union movement" are unable to comprehend the effects of their "demands". The mouth pieces and talking heads of the left press perpetuate this ridiculous situation to absurdity. The only ones to gain are the talking heads and the union heads. The "union members" will just loose their heads. At this rate we will be perpetuating the Cycle of Democracy from abundance to complacency. Next is complacency to apathy. Once we reach dependence, bondage is next. Laugh if you wish but "not in America" is slowly being undermined. We are on a very slippery slope folks.

Monday, April 11, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Tim said:

The seeds of Socialism began with FDR's Social Security boondoggle, which has now risen to help destroy our economy. Jimmy Carter's Dept. of Education has dumned down a generation of our youngsters and instilled them with the current entitlememnt mentality. Liberals in our colleges and universities finish the job for those who choose to attend. It might be possible to reverse the trend if Washington were removed from the educational process through elimination of the Education Department, returning that function to the states in compliance with the tenth amendment. I wish that I could be confident that reforms might occur, but until we manage to elect leaders who have objectives that extend beyond their own re-election, the path will be perilous indeed.

Thursday, April 14, 2011 at 1:48 PM

jim said:

And there would be no poverty, if we actually acted on FDRs words "Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay." Instead the rich continue to not pay, while the increased burden is placed on the middle and lower-middle class. Corporate profits are out of control and credit card rates at 29.95% are usury.How abut a straight tax, no exceptions?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at 2:20 PM

CJ said:

The fact is, we have allowed ourselves to revert to our own human nature just like we do when we visit our parents: the more they do for us, the less we do for ourselves. You can give a man a fish and he will be fed for a day, or you can teach him to fish and he will be able to feed himself for a lifetime. We have allowed our government to turn our own poor into the bears that feed out of garbage cans. As long as we keep putting garbage out, the bears will return and be happy, but put a lid on the trashcan and they will try to tear it apart until they get what they want. I am not at all saying that humans are bears, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist or psychologist to see the analogies. It is so simple and so plain to see, but we all try to make it more complicated and point the finger at someone else. When we point at someone, there are three fingers pointing back at ourselves. No one holds a gun to our heads and makes us use credit cards, borrow money, buy what we don't need, make us think that we have to have a house, and keep up with the Joneses. The American Dream is NOT to own a house and be in debt, but to OWN everything we have and have no debt. I am a teacher and I don't want a union taking my money, telling me what I need to do, and then using my money for things I would never have wanted. By the same token, I do not want a government telling me how to teach, what to teach, and threatening to hold me accountable if my students do not learn everything that is on their tests. I use the same "fish" analogy. Give a student the information on the test and they will pass it the day of the test, but give them the knowledge how to find the information, think outside the box, and problem solve and they will be able to pass life's tests hopefully for the rest of their lives. Making mistakes and having to live with those consequences are the best lessons any person could have and will last with them longer than learning that someone will always be there to save them or support them. I have parents tell me not to help their child pass the CALIFORNIA HIGH SCHOOL EXIT EXAM since they are afraid their child will lose their Social Security Check and they (the parents) need it for their own car or other selfish reasons. You can't tell me those parents have not become bears.

Saturday, May 7, 2011 at 6:19 PM

David S. McQueen said:

The fact that our system (personal freedom and free enterprise) has made the USA the best country on the planet is apparently lost on Obama. He insists that the only problem is that rich people have too much money and need to give it away (except for him, of course). Read Orwell's "Animal Farm" and "1984" and the similarities between those books and Obama's strategies are uncanny.

Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 5:41 PM

Casandra Burleigh said:

An Underground History of American Eduction should be a must read in every college and high school in America. John Taylor Gatto has been telling us for decades about this and as usual, we the people have not been paying attention. Recently Thomas Sowell wrote a remarkable article on Education that pointed out the more recent non-thinking in the area of Education in America. Unfortunately, decades of dumbed-down education have now produced the retro-hippie mentality of the "Progressives" which is of course an oxymoronic phrase for those who appear to hate America and those who work for a living and are productive in any way.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Bob Marshall said:

Along with these site that believe in Patriotism i would like to mention two DVD's that every American who loves liberty should see and show their families. The First is AGENDA and the second is A NATION ADRIFT. We are in a spiritual and moral battle for our children and country.Organizations like the ACLU,Planned Parenthood and Abortionist are leading this once great nation who everyone around the world respect and looked up to but now look down on the road to socialism then finally commumisum.Commusiumnever went away after the fall of the USSR they just changed their tactics.

Thursday, July 28, 2011 at 3:57 PM

Nace Benveniste said:

he should be impeached . i often wonder how much more the american people can take . we need to bring back the essentials of liberty and our constitution . before it is to late. wake up people.

Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 6:10 PM

Eliezer said:

A central Bank given authority to create money is the 5th Plank of the Communist manifesto. I urge you all to look into our Federal reserve, who created it, and why. (see "The Creature from Jekyll Island")Note: the same group of Folks that brought you the Federal Reserve also brought Russia the Bolshevik revolution - see this link an entity claims to own your labor - are you a free man or a slave?

Sunday, November 6, 2011 at 5:18 PM